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Manuel Akanji Hits Stunning Volley to Lead Manchester City Get Past F.C. Copenhagen 3-1 with Ease

Manuel Akanji Hits Stunning Volley to Lead Manchester City Get Past F.C. Copenhagen 3-1 with Ease

Manchester City continued their journey of defending the UEFA Champions League title they won last season in 2023/2024 with their second leg game of the UCL Last 16 against Danish side F.C. Copenhagen. Despite having a healthy 3-1 lead after the first leg, Cityzens, through Manuel Akanji, Julián Álvarez and Erling Haaland, replicated the score line in the returning leg at Etihad, winning the overall continental cup tie with a 6-2 aggregate score as a result. Not only did Pep Guardiola’s side not let off any momentum in yesterday’s matchup, the treble of goals they scored were of the highest quality, most notably in Swiss centre-back Manuel Akanji’s wonderful volley within the opening five minutes of the game.

 

Manuel Akanji Started the UCL Last 16 Second Leg at Etihad with a Stunner

The defending European champions and three-time consecutive English winners Manchester City won the first leg via a 3-1 result, thanks to goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden that cancelled out Magnus Mattsson’s equaliser. Cityzens then brought the victorious momentum into the returning leg at home, scoring the second leg opener almost as soon as the game was kickstarted.

Álvarez was tasked to provide a corner set piece delivery from the right flank, and the 2022 FIFA World Cup winner with Argentina’s pass missed everyone but defender Manuel Akanji inside the penalty box, who then nonchalantly smashed a volley into the top right corner of the goal, beating the goalkeeper Kamil Grabara with pace. The Manuel Akanji’s effort is arguably the best goal ever scored by him in his career, and it was his fifth goal in 80 appearances in all tournaments for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City; Manuel Akanji of course joined the Blue Side of Manchester from German Bundesliga 1 outfit Borussia Dortmund for a reported fee of £15 million at the start of the 2022/2023 Season.

Only moments after Manuel Akanji’s insane opener, Cityzens increased their aggregate margin to 5-1, this time Álvarez turned to become a goal scorer. Another corner delivery by the 24-year-old Argentine reached the unmarked Rodri, before the Spaniard’s shot met the crossbar. The defensive backline of F.C. Copenhagen then tried to clear the ball away, only to have it ricocheted to Álvarez once again. The forward gave a long-ranged shot from a difficult angle, but it was enough to beat ex-Liverpool man Grabara, who committed a howler in letting in the loose effort for City’s second goal of the evening.

Read Next: Al-Ain Defeat Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr 1-0 in the AFC Champions League Quarterfinal First Leg

 

Two 3-1 Results Saw the Defending Champions Reach the UCL Last 8

The visiting F.C. Copenhagen did pull one back through Mohamed Elyounoussi before the half-hour mark, but the goal only made the score line more respectable for Jacob Neestrup’s team, who went on to concede their final goal in this UEFA Champions League campaign in the first-half injury time.

In the stoppage time of the opening half, Rodri delivered a great long ball to reach striker sensation Haaland just inside the penalty box, and there was no doubt the 23-year-old would score from the position despite the best defensive endeavours by the visitors, finding the bottom right corner with his left-footed shoot, thus sending his team to the next round of the competition. After the cup tie, Manuel Akanji was given the Man of the Match award for not only his exceptional first-half goal, but also Manuel Akanji’s discipline and defensive presence throughout the 90 minutes plus stoppage time against F.C. Copenhagen in this UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal second leg at home.

Manuel Akanji’s Manchester City certainly prevented an upset in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 in 2023/2024, but the same cannot be said for Italian Serie A side S.S. Lazio, who bottled their 1-0 lead gained in the first leg a few weeks ago following Bayern Munich’s 3-0 come-from-behind victory at Allianz Arena. England captain Harry Kane and German footballer Thomas Müller showed why they are the veterans of the game by offering the attacking presence in the Bavarians’ resistance, and you can check out the full match details that we have crafted for you in this article. Have a thorough read now!

 

Pep Guardiola’s Stance on City’s Title Defence Campaign After Manuel Akanji’s MOTM Performance

In the aftermath of Manuel Akanji’s MOTM display and Cityzens’ destruction over their Danish counterparts, Pep spoke about his team’s motivation in defending their European club football trophy. “We are a team that believes we can do it. Listen, we’re competing with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, but the important thing is that seven years in a row we are here. Consistency. I felt the people when we arrived from a club like Barcelona and Bayern Munich – where they demand to always be there – I felt the club, not the players, didn’t feel it. We are here because we needed time. People, managers don’t get time, hierarchies don’t get time,” remarked the 53-year-old.

The ex-Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach also mentioned these afterwards: “But they gave us time to lose against Monaco, lose against Liverpool, lose against Tottenham – all (Part of) the process to do it, because when a team comes from never ever being in that position, you cannot do it. It is easy for clubs that have big history – start with the best ones, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Bayern Munich or Man United – they have been used to it. You need time and they gave me time. Now we are in a process where we can lose, definitely, but we can compete everywhere because we’ve come from the final, semi-final, final, now the quarter-finals again.”

The ex-Spanish midfield maestro during his playing days did not forget to offer compliments to the side they faced last night, whom many thought were a weaker side in the UCL Round of 16. “That means our consistency in Europe. We went through against a difficult team. Bayern Munich felt it, Man United felt it, and Galatasaray. They are a difficult opponent, well organised. To win the titles we need everyone and we used them. I am really pleased for the performance. People may expect a lot of things but I know how difficult it is.”

Meanwhile in the AFC Champions League: N’Golo Kanté Sent Off for His Reckless Challenge in Al-Ittihad’s 2-0 Defeat to Al-Hilal in the AFC Champions League

Steven Mosier

"Eat, breathe and sleep sports" is the life motto of mine. My professional athlete career ended way earlier than I thought, but the passion remains till the present, which is why I am here writing you all the sports news you crave! Also, I am a huge fan of the Premier League as well the NBA.

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